Brussels, January 13, 2014
Mental Health Europe (MHE), the leading independent, pan-European mental health NGO, has for two years been calling for wider recognition of the crisis of confidence in the increasingly biological/neurological approach taken by western psychiatry and for action to change the culture and practice of mental health services to take more account of the views, rights and lived experience of users of these services.
MHE set up an expert Task Force to investigate, debate and report on the development of DSM-5, its likely impact and on alternatives to wholly medical/biological psychiatry which are effective and which improve the lives and life chances of people with poor mental health. Now after its first 18 months work it has set out a manifesto for change.
At the conference “From stigma to inclusion- drivers of progress in the mental health field” Bucharest, Romania, October 2013, the Task Force first presented the manifesto, which was unanimously adopted by the meeting. It calls on organizations with power and influence in the mental health field to take actions which will move psychiatry and mental health services towards more effective treatments and a greater respect for the human rights of users. The manifesto is composed of eight simple, achievable points involving statutory bodies as the World Health Organization and the European Union, political bodies, practitioners, medical insurance companies, service providers and researchers, pharmaceutical companies and psychiatrists.
None of the demands are new and our researches tell us that they are supported by many others in the field, but by bringing them all together for the first time MHE hopes to kick start a debate which will change the ways in which policy, research and practice in the mental health field are conducted.
The Bucharest Manifesto
Mental Health Europe calls on:
Classification of Diseases (ICD 10) takes fully into account the worldwide critique of DSM-5 and involves people with lived experience of mental distress as equal partners in its construction.
For more information, or to express support for the Manifesto, please contact MHE Director Maria Nyman
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